Don’t run Lok Sabha amid bedlam, upset Advani says

New Delhi: Upset over the unending disruption of the Lok Sabha, veteran BJP leader L.K. Advani on Wednesday demanded to know why it was being allowed to run amid so much bedlam.

As the house was adjourned shortly before 1 p.m., the normally quiet Advani stood up and asked Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ananth Kumar who exactly was running the house.

As other BJP members watched in silence, Advani was overheard saying that neither Speaker Sumitra Mahajan nor the Parliamentary Affairs Minister appeared to be in charge.

Advani’s remarks came as the Speaker allowed the Question Hour as well as Zero Hour to continue on Wednesday although opposition members kept raising slogans related to demonetisation.

“Neither the Speaker nor the Parliamentary Affairs Minister is running the house,” said Advani, one of the most respected parliamentarians.

“I am going to tell the Speaker that she is not running the house… Both the opposition and the government are unable to run the house,” he said even as Ananth Kumar was seen desperately trying to pacify him.

He asked till what time the Lok Sabha had been adjourned. When he was told till 2 p.m., the veteran Bharatiya Janata Party leader quipped: “Why not sine die?”

Advani made it clear to a stunned Ananth Kumar that either the Lok Sabha should act against those who were disrupting the proceedings or make peace with them.

He said the house should not run amid din and slogan-shouting. This, the BJP leader said, did not send a positive message about Indian Parliament.

The Lok Sabha has been witnessing noisy disruptions since the second day of the winter session that started on November 16.

On the first day, it was adjourned after obituary reference to Renuka Sinha, an MP from Cooch Behar.

On Tuesday, it was again adjourned after paying tributes to the late Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

Apart from these two days, the house has witnessed protests every day, with the opposition pressing for a debate on demonetisation under rules that entail voting.

The government is ready for a debate but does not want voting.